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Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 • Posted June 29, 2011

“If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.”....This famous quote came to my mind this week at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. Several very young homeschoolers showed up on different evenings to watch the emergence of the world famous lady bats. They had already been given wonderful instruction on bats, but allowing them to be taught by observation will help this information stay with them for the rest of their lives. I was so impressed when these youngsters knew answers to some very difficult questions and were proud to share their knowledge with the others in the audience. One visitor asked me how the bats found their own baby to nurse among the millions on the ceiling of the cave. A very young homeschooler that was sitting right in front of this woman responded, “By smell and by sound.” Yes, pride runs deep toward those who have such a desire to learn and share information about our Mason, County bats!!My volunteers have been working hard on the development of a “shortcut trail” that will eliminate a lot of the steps and steep climbing to get to the mouth of the cave. This has been a project that was initiated because of the large number of requests by our visitors. Many let me know that they had family members that they would love to bring out but were afraid that they would not be able to make the climb up the current trail. This should be completed next week if everything goes as planned. I will keep everyone posted on the progress.For any of you that have postponed coming out to the cave because of the heat, you are really missing out on some totally awesome emergences. (see photo) We are seeing huge emergences that start a little after six o’clock and continue on for hours. The pups have all been born now, so if you decide to come out and join in the fun, please be at the gate at 6 P.M. I open right at six, so we can get up to the seating area and not disturb the little ones too much. We are having a tremendous presentation from the predators of the bats. The hawks, owls, falcons, snakes, skunks, raccoons, and fox are truly a show of their own! Some of our visitors named Geraldine’s new family. Geraldine is our resident skunk who has a curiosity that is like a two year old child. She also does her best to move every rock lining the trails. Despite that, she is one of the favorites at the Preserve. The names of Geraldine’s three offspring will be announced in next week’s column. I left the paper with all of this information at the cave by accident and cannot remember what they were. So, I leave you something to look forward to next week.If you have any questions, feel free to call the bat hotline at:325-347-5970. Admission to The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve is $5.00 for persons six years of age and older. We at The Nature Conservancy proudly request your presence to view the most spectacular event on this planet as all of our new mamma bats leave the cave in search of food. See ya at the cave!!

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